Thanks to all who took the time to fill in our EYFS questionnaire. You may recall that we ran this during the period of the DfE consultation - urging you to first take the important one (no that wasn't the FSF one, no matter how much we'd like this to be the case) and then complete ours if you had the time and energy. One hundred and ninety four of you are obviously way too energetic, so many thanks to you for responding!
At the bottom of this page is a link to the raw results of the questionnaire, and I'd urge you to look particularly through the longer replies, not just the graphs. We deliberately included many questions which required free text answers as, with a subject as important as this, reducing your options to a series of radio buttons becomes very restrictive.
First of all, a quick apology. My inexperience in the art of survey construction occasionally rears its head in the questions. For example, in hindsight allowing a free text response to the question "How long have you been involved in the Early Years?" (Q5) was extremely foolish. Instead of a breakdown into four or five periods of time, the 189 people who answered the question found 189 different ways to answer the question. If you have other comments, (constructive) criticism or suggestions I'd be more than happy to receive them.
So, a few things I found interesting about the results follow:
The largest single group of respondents were nursery practitioners (at just over 50%), followed by reception teachers (just under 30%), then childminders, (13%), advisers (9%) and parents (5%). The numerate amongst you may have noticed that this comes to more than 100%; unsettling until I point out that we allowed people to choose more than one category...
A large majority were in favour of the EYFS as an appropriate mechanism for improving standards and influencing outcomes for children in the early years (84% rating it either highly or somewhat), with only 11% being either 'not keen' or finding it totally unsuitable. Only 7% believed it should be abandoned, while 21% believed it should be kept as it is and 68% that it should be 'kept but refined'.
70% of respondents strongly or probably agreed that the EYFS should be mandatory with just under 23% against.
A majority inclined towards the view that the EYFS should actually be extended into KS1, with 47% strongly in favour and 23% in favour but with reservations. Only 13% felt that this would be a truly bad idea.
With regard to the EY FSP (Foundation Stage Profile), more felt that it was an appropriate measure of attainment at the end of the EYFS (44%) than felt negatively about it (28.5%), with a further 26% having no strong view on the subject.
In terms of monitoring of the progress of EYFS children, the great majority felt that some form of monitoring of progress was useful (87% against 13% opposed), with more or less the same number feeling that this should be summative. They differed in the frequency of this monitoring, in the following proportions: End of EYFS only: 20.9%, End of nursery and reception: 37.2%, annually: 8.1%, termly: 25.6% and 'other': 8.1%.
Again, many thanks to those who took part, and please take some time to review those results, including the areas where people gave their own prose answers - to my mind the most interesting and revealing part of the survey! You can find a link through to the detailed answers for each question by clicking the 'View' button at the bottom right of the question.